Here is the first in a series of 10 Kavalan whisky reviews. The background here is a few years ago a local fellow redditor /u/onewaybackpacking who was vacationing in Taiwan graciously offered to pick up one of these awesome Kavalan sampler packs. I had always meant to sample and review them as a series, so here is that long overdue set of reviews. Sorry it took me so long, dude.
I am mostly a bourbon and rye man so I am by no means an expert in malt whiskies but I do enjoy them on occasion and have covered a few in my ~350 spirits reviews. Prior to this my experience with Kavalan was pretty limited to only a few of their special releases but I do know their aggressive climate can help impart a lot of flavor even at a young age. Knowing how my tastes go, my fondness will probably go up as the proof rises.
Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky; No Age Statement; 40% ABV
Nose: Very fruity and sweet. Lots of honey and sweet grain notes, like sugary raisin bran but with mangos instead of raisins. There is a lot of fruit here, was this aged in former sherry casks?
Taste: No real departure from the nose. It is light and delicate with mostly sweet tropical fruits and some grainy notes like bran cereal.
Thoughts: This is decent enough - it's super fruity and very drinkable. The most interesting thing I find is just how tropical the fruit notes are, which is something I am not really used to in the American whiskey world. My complaints are that it doesn't have a lot of depth, neither in the sweet flavors or woody range and overall it is rather thin. I think those are all mostly due to 80 proof being below my wheelhouse though so your mileage may vary.
Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating.